Environmental Impact Assessment and the Habitats Directive
Produced in partnership with Heather Sargent of Landmark Chambers
Environmental Impact Assessment and the Habitats Directive

The following Planning practice note Produced in partnership with Heather Sargent of Landmark Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Environmental Impact Assessment and the Habitats Directive
  • Introduction
  • Key legislative framework
  • EIA: EU and UK legislation
  • Habitats: EU and UK legislation
  • Brexit impact
  • The focus of the Habitats Directive
  • Habitats protection: 'European sites' and the 'appropriate assessment' requirement
  • Differences between the two regimes
  • Must satisfy both regimes where necessary
  • More...

As of exit day (31 January 2020) the UK is no longer an EU Member State. However, in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, the UK has entered an implementation period, during which it continues to be subject to EU law. This has an impact on this content. For further guidance, see Brexit and EIA/AA below, Practice Note: Brexit—the implications for English and Welsh planning law and practice or visit the Planning area of the Brexit toolkit.

Introduction

Where EU law requires an environmental impact assessment (EIA) of a proposed development project to be undertaken, that assessment will often consider the potential effects of the proposed development project upon protected habitats and species. However, the Habitats Directive imposes a separate legislative regime which is particularly concerned to avoid adverse effects on protected habitats and species. This Practice Note explores the way in which the EIA and the habitats legislative schemes interact and the differences between the relevant provisions.

See also Practice Notes:

Environmental impact assessments—key points

Environmental impact assessment—screening and scoping

Preparing an environmental statement

Procedure for submitting and determining an environmental statement

Directive 2014/52/EU on environmental impact assessment

Appropriate assessment under the Habitats Directive

Implementation of the Habitats Directive in England and Wales

Derogations under the Habitats Directive

Key legislative framework

EIA: EU and UK legislation

EU legislation

  1. Directive 2011/92/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 on the assessment of the effects

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